Two-toned Egg

Look at what I found in the nesting box. A two-toned egg. It would fit right into a mid-century modern decorating theme, wouldn’t it? I have the urge to go paint a piece of furniture to match it right now.

Someone snuck into the photo shoot. A lady bug! There are two hundred varieties of lady bugs in North America. I have no idea which this one is, but it sure is cute.

I don’t know which hen laid that fancy egg, but I think that I know why. Eggs go through something of an assembly line as they’re being formed. First the yolk is released from the ovary, then the whites and membranes are laid on, and lastly the shell. All the while the egg is moving through the reproductive tract. As the shell is forming, pigment is sprayed on. If the conveyor belt stops at the point where the egg gets it’s color, then that banded effect happens. This egg was laid the day after the chicken keeping workshop. I think that a hen that was about to lay an egg was distracted from her job while the flock had a runaround in the gardens, and were held by the participants. Sometimes when a hen’s schedule is disrupted, or she’s stressed, it will take an extra day to lay that egg. In this case the egg got a special paint job in the process. In all of my years of chicken keeping, I’ve never found such a perfectly two-toned egg. I’ll be blowing it out with this tool and saving it.

For more about pigmentation in eggs, see this post.

Have  you found any decorator eggs lately?


  1. Amazing how eggs are formed! I really enjoy watching the Gems – waiting to lay their eggs in the morning! Has Twinkydink continued her egg laying?

  2. I’ve never had one that perfect. I like when I get the ones with freckles on them especially when one of the Americans lay them.

  3. Do you have any idea about which end of the egg comes out first, pointy or round?
    Is the lighter part white or tan?

  4. Yes, I get these quite often, and I believe they come from my older hens. They tend to be kind of elongated and pointy, and as often as not, the shell is thinner. I love the idea of the eggs being “sprayed” with color as part of the process. I would like to see the spray can for my Welsummers, who lay lovely spotted eggs.

  5. Just had a HUGE speckled egg today. Amazing, looks like a seagull’s egg. One of the Easter Eggers lays an egg with gobs of blue “spackle” in clumps…little balls of calcium that rub off like miniature pearls. Fun to find these treasures. And had to laugh out loud at my Columbian, the broody one. I tossed her out the popdoor and told her to “go cool off.” To my surprise she marched, turkey-fluffed and hormone driven, to one of the tubs I set out for water. She hopped right in, drumstick deep, and took a good bath! Never saw a hen do that before on her own She drank a lot of water, cooled off her body and under her wings, then complained all the way back to the coop! They keep me laughing all the time.

  6. One of my four hens, who is all white, maybe a Leghorn, is 1 year 3 months old and still laying tiny yolkless eggs. Although they are cute, I wonder if something is wrong with her. Also she occasionally tries to crow like a Roo and the others don’t.

    • Yes, there’s something wrong! When the yolk is released from the ovary it has to be “caught” by the fallopian tubes. Sometimes it falls into the body cavity, where it is either reabsorbed, or causes a build-up of fluid, or becomes infected and impacted. Your hens yolks aren’t reaching their intended destination. Also, a hen has only one working ovary, so if that one gets damaged, her hormones go out of whack and she’ll exhibit some male-like behavior, like crowing. Hopefully, she’ll be able to survive as is for awhile longer!

  7. I have found a few that look like they’ve been dipped, and speckled, and I get one just about daily that has calcium deposits on it. It’s not very attractive, but the egg inside is fine. It’s from a very good layer so I won’t complain!

  8. Yes, we get them pretty often. It’s probably, at this point anyways, because we have a broody Jersey Giant, and some times she blocks the way to several nest boxes. But I don’t know who lays them, probably someone low on the totem pole.

  9. When my Cochin laid her first egg it was so little and cute that I blew it out and kept it. Now I do it with all my hens first eggs, they are kept in a special straw basket atop of a bookcase. It is nice to know that somebody else is doing something similar.

  10. One of my Wynadottes always lays eggs that look like a nipple on one end she has done this since her first pullet egg. I am assuming she is releasing her eggs to close together and they are bumping eachother and then repairing the crack before being laid…